100 treasures book to mark diocesan centenary

The St Mary, Burgate War Memorial chancel

A new book charting Suffolk's magnificent churches is being published ahead of the diocese's centenary celebrations next year.

The book, '100 Treasures: A Celebration of Suffolk Churches', is being launched by the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, the Right Reverend Nigel Stock, this Friday at St Mary le Tower, Ipswich.

The full colour book by Roy Tricker features full-colour photographs and descriptions of the churches as well as their historic treasures.

These include a Saxon cross shaft and a 13th century sanctuary ring for those seeking refuge from justice.

Other church highlights include the tombstone of a falconer to three Stuart kings, a ruined Norman chancel, and a tower paid for by the local people including a woman who left 20 sheep "towards the buying of the bells".

Bishop Stock notes in his foreward that the diocese's celebrations coincide with the centenary of World War I and mentions that the very first Bishop of the diocese, Henry Hodgson, tragically lost his son Noel in the Somme offensive in 1916.

One of the more poignant church features in Tricker's book is a chancel shrine made using shell cases by wounded soldiers at a hospital near Ypres in 1917.

In recognition of the sacrifices made in that war, a donation will be made to the Royal British Legion from the sale of the book.